People have questions about Medi-Cal when they find out that Medicare will not pay for nursing home care. Medi-Cal is California’s version of the Medicaid program that is offered nationally, and it does pay for custodial care.
Because Medi-Cal is a program that is only available to people who have limited financial resources, people sometimes assume that they must impoverish themselves to qualify. This is a characterization that is not entirely accurate.
The Medi-Cal limit on countable assets for an individual is just $2,000. However, it is important to understand the difference between countable and non-countable assets.
Your home is probably your most valuable possession, and your home is not considered to be a countable asset. Medi-Cal does not count your household goods and personal belongings, and you can own one vehicle that is used for transportation.
Wedding rings, engagement rings, and heirloom jewelry are not considered to be countable. Term life insurance is life insurance that does not have a cash value. You can have unlimited term life insurance, and you can have a whole life insurance policy that does have cash value, as long as its value does not exceed $1,500.
When one spouse is applying for Medi-Cal to pay for nursing home care while the other is still healthy enough to live independently, the healthy spouse is entitled to a Community Spouse Resource Allowance. This equates to half of the shared countable assets, up to a limit of $119,220 in 2015.
The healthy spouse could also continue to draw from income that is brought in by the institutionalized spouse if this income is needed to provide a basic standard of living.
When it comes to countable assets, you could spread resources around among your loved ones before you apply for Medi-Cal. In a sense, you would be giving inheritances in advance. If you ultimately enter a nursing home toward the end of your life, you really wouldn’t need the resources yourself, so the condition could not accurately be described as impoverishment.
You do have to act in advance, because in California, there is a 30 month look-back at the present time. You have to complete your gift giving at least 30 months before you apply for Medi-Cal if you want to obtain timely coverage.
Free Medi-Cal Planning Report
We have prepared a special report on Medi-Cal planning, and we are offering this report to our readers on a complimentary basis.
To obtain your copy of the free report, click this link and follow the simple instructions: Medi-Cal Planning Report.
Free Medi-Cal Planning Workshops
We regularly offer free workshops on Medi-Cal Planning. To view our upcoming workshops and to reserve your seat, follow this link: Free Workshops and Seminars.
If you would like to discuss the future with a licensed elder care professional, send us a message through our contact page to schedule a free consultation: San Jose CA Elder Care Attorneys.